Full disclosure: This has been THE most traumatic week I have ever lived as a mother, period. And I promise you want to read all the way to Layer 7.
Layer 1. Tuesday, June 28, 2016- I've been a mom a whole four years now, so I've DONE sickness. I've done fevers, strep throat, rashes, and ear infections. But June 28 marked a BRAND NEW territory. My 2-year old daughter was struggling going to sleep (not typically an issue), but she had battled a fever for about 24 hours. I left her room, I hear my son trying to sneak out of his bedroom for "one more" tuck-in. I tuck him back in and I thought, "Surely no one will need me for five seconds while I pee." Right? "Mooooom!" I hear Reese cry out. Quickly I pull her up on the video monitor and watch as she flops back down. And then I heard it. The loud, strenuous, disturbing sounds of vomit. I sprinted in to her room and there it was. All over her brand new white comforter (yes, I am the a-hole who insisted on a cute WHITE comforter for my daughter in a household of NINE creatures). Giant tears were streaming down her face and she sat there sobbing in a stench that made my gag reflex flare. My husband rushed upstairs and together we cleaned her up, bathed her, Lysoled her surroundings, put Peppermint oil on her feet, and re-tucked her back in. Together we walked out, only to seconds later sprint back in. All over the backup bedding she was using.... more vomit. So, here we go again, except we knew, this wasn't stopping ANY time soon. And it didn't. My poor girl puked and dry heaved for almost TEN hours straight and my husband took the medal for this one because he stayed with her all night. I was teaching summer school and had a job (aside from motherhood) to scramble to in the morning, so yep, he's a saint! Oh, did I mention that prior to her vomiting we had DINNER GUESTS waiting downstairs whom we haven't spent time with in forever? Her second round of vomit I heard them cleaning their dishes in the sink and quietly the front door closed. (Sorry Tim and Clayton, redo soon? Or not because we've permanently scared you away..........) *Crap, I should also mention that my husband surprised me with a brand new 8-week old KITTEN on this day as well.*
Layer 2. Wednesday, June 29, 2016-So recently my husband has diagnosed with me OCD. Not the obsessive or stereotypical turning light switches on and off 100x, but the whole being in your head, intrusive thoughts, not able to let things go--kind of OCD. No, he wasn't being a jerk and this isn't meant to offend anyone and yes, I probably need some therapy (don't we all??) but I'm starting to recognize some of what he's talking about. Like for instance, the fact that FOR WEEKS, I have smelled a certain scent on my Golden Retriever. She's prone to ear infections so I've been convinced she has yeast somewhere in her ears. She was professionally groomed, they said her ears looked great. Awesome. I took her to our vet, he also concluded that nope, they look great. I swear to you every time she lies down near me, I get this waft of something that I just don't LIKE. Well, on our way TO the vet, my husband texts, "Reese just threw up all over me + all over Pierson's carpet." So, while I'm on my way to the vet, only to conclude that my dog is perfectly healthy and that no one else can smell anything except ME, my husband is getting puked on. High five, Ashley. High five.
Layer 3. Thursday, June 30, 2016- My LAST day of summer school and my very last day of teaching at that school. It should have been a happy day because hello, it meant I could finally be on summer VACATION. We thought things were looking up, we had disinfected every surface in our home, we quietly sat on the couch binge watching Orange is the New Black while the children slept and then we hear Pierson's door open. "Well he's up early," I sighed. There he stood at the top of the stairs, shaking a little, and doing the biggest dry heave/gag/attempt to throw up that I've ever seen. And I was standing at the BOTTOM of the stairs. I froze and yelled, "Pan! Puke pan! We need a puke pan!!!" Lucky for us my husband has a way better fight or flight response and grabbed Pierson from the steps and shoved a pan in front of his mouth. Reese, who also was coming down the stairs, stood WAY too close by as both Asa and I coaxed Pierson and she says:
"Eewwwwwww, it looks like chicken, Pierson!!!"
Okay, fine. MORE cleaning. MORE laundry, because 700 loads weren't JUST done. Entertaining Reese because she's finally on the mend and feeling normal and at this moment, my blood was pumping way too fast and there wasn't a single second that I had the thought, "I might get this bug too."
Layer 4. Friday, July 1, 2016- We learned our lesson trying to go back and forth with Reese, so Pierson sleeping in our bed made way more sense. Asa volunteered to sleep on the couch and I set up camp. Puke bucket, check. Light near the bed, check. Hand sanitizer, check. Tissues to wipe pukey face with, check. Trash can nearby, check. Water to rinse with, check. So when two o'clock in the morning rolled around and my stomach started to churn, I texted my mom (she has always been my middle of the night prayer warrior since I was an exhausted, breastfeeding mom). "Try putting some peppermint straight on your belly," she responded. Okay, I can do that, the roller ball is downstairs. I walked downstairs, grabbed the roller ball, climbed back in bed, practiced deep breathing thinking surely this was just anxiety and then BAM. I was no longer the Invincible Mom. I ran to the bathroom, where I proceeded to experience THE worst stomach bug of my adult life. Poor Pierson slept terribly but thank God was no longer vomiting himself... "I'm sorry you threw up, Mom," he whispered. #OMG. Oh, and you betcha, my husband also got his own version of this and in between checking on me (the first few times because let's face it, it gets old when it's happening EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES), he was trying to take care of himself. And change diapers when I text at 4:00a.m., "Asa, can you please change Pierson? I think he had diarrhea and it's going to make me vomit even more."
Layer 5. Saturday, July 2, 2016- The day we were supposed to be leaving for Michigan to visit my parents. Miraculously we were all feeling back to normal, (well, I think I was about 80%). We went to Target to stretch our legs and leave our sick bubble (sorry, Target goers, we were "those" parents....) and we all felt good enough to grab a Hot and Ready to enjoy some pizza at the park afterwards. Cool. It was a good day. Our house was clean. No one had had fevers for 24-hours, we were feeling rested. The kids took a good nap, we had a slow and peaceful afternoon, and THEN we realized..........our black cat was missing. He rarely goes outdoors. (He CAN, but he's always super chill to hang out in our back yards or on the front porch.) But he's ginormous and way too friendly and loves every and any human who comes in contact with him, so I just prefer him NOT to leave the house. Well, it appeared that he had snuck out somehow and after we did the whole, "Did you see him this morning? No. Did you see him this afternoon? Nope." exchange, we estimated he had been gone for about 15+ hours. Asa and I took turns walking the neighborhood, we posted to Craigslist, to Facebook, texted neighbors, prayed together, and I had a miniature sob-fest imagining Sammy never coming back. During this frantic search and trying to be strong in front of our children, we hear BB's nail our house. A bunch of middle school SMARTIES were across the street and IN OUR FRONT YARD, SHOOTING each other with air-soft guns that they painted BLACK to resemble real ones. So not only were other people running away, our HOUSE became a target. (Aw hell na! You better believe Asa went all teacher mode and laid down the LAW with that crap!) Well, we got the kids in bed and decided eating dinner on the couch and resting was a must. And then I heard it, AGAIN. Pierson's door busting against his wall as he came frantically to find us. I raced up the stairs, only to find my poor pitiful son covered, head to toe, in MORE VOMIT. Repeat everything from the last 500-hours because that's how long it felt this process had been. Asa stripped Pierson's bedding to get it in the wash and decided to look out back one more time. And there our fricking cat stood, bewildered as all get out because DUH, #fireworks, NONSTOP in Shelby Park.
Layer 6. Monday, July 3, 2016-Church from home (obviously) and a plan to do, I'll give ya a WILD GUESS.... Did you say cleaning + laundry?! DING, DING, DING!!!! In the middle of our makeshift church service we were learning about Daniel in the lions den, and Reese walks up to her brother and smacks him in the HEAD. So while we talked about ya know, Jesus and stuff, I screamed, "REESE ELISABETH MORGAN," and *almost* lost my mind. Overall, I can't actually tell you that the day was *awful* other then for whatever reason Reese being out of her ever loving mind in disobedience and egging her brother on.
Layer 7. Tuesday, July 4, 2016- Happy Independence Day! My Instagram feed was blown UP by all these cute mamas at the lakes with their happy and cooperative littles and with siblings who just adore each other as they wave their sparklers around in sheer joy. Here, it rained, all day. We enjoyed a couple of short hours with some family before Pierson was begging to come home and sleep. We came home to a bag torn to shreds (inside were crumbs left over from the cookies that our loving Chocolate Lab obviously enjoyed while we were gone.) Brushing past that, we made our way upstairs. We wanted to get the kids in their pj's, wash their faces, and let them rest on the couch for a few minutes before starting actual bedtime. "He's peeing!" we hear Pierson scream. I was wetting the washcloth and I heard a river of pee escaping SOMEONE. I turned around and good Lord, if it wasn't Humphrey peeing a steady stream in the hallway. To his benefit (does that even MATTER?!!?) we think we just didn't let him outside enough today with how much it rained and his almost ten-year old bladder obviously didn't like that very much.
Okay, so we get that cleaned up. Towels, Hoover carpet shampooer, and back downstairs to the couch. Reese says, "I have to go potty!" and dismisses herself from the living room. Minutes later, she's back. I'm proud to say this girl is fully potty trained, never has issues going alone, and is just awesome at doing her business when she needs to. But while she is standing in front of me, she is wearing a GIGANTIC smile and I see that her face is WET and the front of her hair is DRIPPING with WATER.
"Reese..............WHY are you WET?" I asked. "Because I am," she responds. "No. WHY are you WET? What did you do?!" "I went to the potty," she says. "Reese, SHOW ME what you are talking about. I didn't hear the water running, and I need to know why you are WET." At this moment, Asa was trying not to explode with laughter. Actually, he DID explode with laughter and Pierson said, "Dad, why are you laughing?" "Because Rescue Bots are REALLY funny, Pierson," he cracked up. I get to the bathroom with my daughter and again, ask her to show me what she means.
OH ****!!!! I almost scream. "Reese, HONEY," (trying to keep a straight face because this, THIS is just the icing on the CAKE).. "You CANNOT put your hands or your HEAD in to the TOILET. Ever. The toilet is for pee and poop, NOT anything else." She shrugs. "Okay, Mom!"
SO! How was YOUR Independence Day? Or rather, how was your WEEK?! Have a crapshoot story you want to tell? Comment below and as mothers, let's all cheer each other on in our pure exhaustion, outrage, OCD tendencies, and laughter. I wasn't too sure I could see the light at the end of this tunnel and heck... am not truly convinced it's OVER yet, but I'm trying to hope?!